Stomach bloating occurs when your belly becomes enlarged with fluid or gas. Bloat is temporary and is often caused by the foods you eat. Some foods can be harder for your stomach to digest, keeping you full longer. One easy way to tell the difference between bloat and belly fat is to note belly fat does not cause your stomach to expand wildly throughout the course of a day; bloat does. One other way to tell the difference between bloat and belly fat is you can physically grasp belly fat with your hand, you cannot with bloat.